The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday rejected Amnesty International’s claims of an “incessant witch-hunt” by the Centre, calling them “exaggerated” and “far from the truth”.
“The glossy statements about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power are a ploy to divert attention from activities which were in clear contravention to Indian laws,” the MHA said in a statement.
The response came after Amnesty International’s announcement that it is halting all its activities in India due to freezing of its accounts. The organization had further claimed that it is being subjected to an “incessant witch-hunt” over unfounded and motivated allegations.
The home ministry said that Amnesty’s statements are an attempt to extraneously influence the course of investigations by multiple agencies into its irregularities over the last few years.
It said that Amnesty is free to continue humanitarian work in India, as is being done by many other organizations, but Indian laws do not allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations.
It added that Amnesty UK had remitted large sums of money to various organisations, including Amnesty India, without MHA’s approval under the FCRA.
“This mala fide rerouting of money was in contravention of extant legal provisions,” it said.
Owing to these illegal practices of Amnesty, the previous government had also rejected the repeated applications of Amnesty to receive funds from overseas, the home ministry said.
“Amnesty’s failure to comply with local regulations does not entitle them to make comments on the democratic and plural character of India,” asserted MHA.